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The mission of the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department is to enhance the quality of life for the people of Ramsey County by preserving, developing, maintaining and managing a system of parks, open space, trail corridors and special use areas; and by providing year-round recreational programs, services and facilities which are responsive to changing needs, compatible with resource base and most effectively provided at a county level.
Ramsey County has the distinction of being the smallest and most densely populated of the 87 counties within the State of Minnesota. Over 486,000 people live within the County's 170 square miles, making it the second most populated county in the state. The County's involvement in parks and recreation services dates back to the 1920's with the acquisition and development of many water front parks.
The Department of Parks and Recreation is an operating department of Ramsey County, responsible for providing a full range of parks, recreation and leisure services for the people of Ramsey County. This is accomplished by preserving, developing, maintaining and managing a system of natural resource based parks, open space and special use areas. Although the primary thrust of the Department is management of areas and facilities, the Department does provide program services in the form of nature interpretation through Tamarack Nature Center and outdoor recreation programming in the areas of skill development and special events. Organizationally, the Department consists of six major divisions, including administration, nature interpretation, golf course operations, arena operations, park operations, and planning and development.
Overall, the Department is responsible for approximately 5,780 acres of parks, open space and special use facilities. Specific components of the system include the following:R egional Parks
Ramsey County, as an implementing agency for the Regional Recreation and Open Space System, is responsible for five regional parks and five regional trail corridors consisting of over 3,750 acres. Funding for acquisition and development of these properties is provided by the Metropolitan Council through the state and metropolitan area bonds. The state of Minnesota provides limited supplemental funding to assist in the operation and maintenance of these regional park units.C ounty Parks
The Department manages nine County parks totaling 1,063 acres. Generally, these are lakefront properties offering a variety of outdoor recreation facilities, such as boat launches, picnic areas (including shelters), play areas and swimming beaches.P reservation of Open Space
The Department manages nine protection open space sites, consisting of 636 acres. These sites provide valuable wildlife habitat and preserve wetlands and natural waterways. In addition, these sites provide opportunities for hiking, outdoor education and nature interpretation.
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